The nights draw in, the days get short. You’re spending increasing amounts of time under a blanket on the sofa, or trying to remember what your house looks like in daylight. It’s cold, it’s rainy, and it seems cruelly ironic that just when you really need the mood-boosting goodness of creativity and photography the most, there’s nothing worth instagramming in your life.
I’m going to let you in on a secret: the best time to be on Instagram is in the winter months. People are online more, which makes it easier to connect. Without the flowers and sunsets of summertime, people’s home feeds grow quieter, while we all look and hope to be uplifted. Master winter photography on Instagram, and you’ll not only make yourself feel better – you’ll take a growing community of followers along for the glittering, snow-dusted ride!
Gloom & Glow is a four-week guided tour of all the very best bits of winter photography – how to do it, how to love it, and how to use it to grow your tribe.
Week 1: Light in the dark – making the most of the winter light – and darkness Week 2: Collected elements – getting off the sofa andfinding beauty, whatever the weather Week 3: A sense of home – digging into what ‘cozy’ means, and how we can make our viewers feel Week 4: A winter’s tale – whimsy, juxtaposition and storytelling in both captions and images
As this is a brand new course, I have no student testimonials to share with you yet! Here are some from people who took the summer version of this course, Bloom & Grow, earlier this year:
“As the weeks went on and more ‘homework’ was issued I found that with each module subject I was pushing myself further and further. Far beyond my comfort zone, far beyond anything I had ever created before. I’m dreaming in Instagram squares, I look for inspiration and different concepts everywhere. I take mental notes of fields about to bloom with crops or flowers, knowing they’ll make a good photo sometime soon. I’ve started a hashtag, along with a beautiful like minded friend, Patricia. Who doesn’t even live in this country, but the tag it’s going from strength to strength and is about to be featured in a real printed magazine, with my photo in it.
Would this have happened if I hadn’t started Sara’s course? No it wouldn’t.”
“Instagram is a visual platform (obvs) so I always thought images for here needed to be ‘pretty’, I hadn’t really thought about them being unexpected. Unusual. Creative even.
Giving myself room to think creatively and actually come up with ideas for something a bit different on Instagram during this course made me feel amazing.”
“Sara’s teaching style and engaging material taps into a creativity and inspirational spark I didn’t know I had. The weekly challenges pushed me to want to try something new and look at the floral world on many levels. All of which I’ve begun applying to other photography subjects and look forward to revisiting as the seasons change.
My following and engagement transformed from stagnant to steady growth and my love for creating content and having fun with Instagram has returned.
The community formed surrounding everyone’s love and curiosity for botanical creativity is invaluable.”
“I just finished up your wonderful Bloom and Grow course and I wanted to say it was amazing creative journey for me.
The information in your course was extremely helpful and insightful. I have seen real growth in followers on my Instagram account and have made some lovely connections in return. Bloom & Grow has helped me get out of a creative rut and think past some of my own limiting beliefs.
I would highly recommend this course for anyone wanting to stretch their creative abilities in new and profound ways.
Sara you are a real gem to this creative community.”
How is this different to your longer course, The Insta Retreat? The Insta Retreat is a longer, in-depth look at Instagram strategy for those who want to dig really deep into their account. One student described it as “like taking an A Level in Instagram!”. Gloom & Glow and its summertime sister-course, Bloom & Grow, are both shorter classes, requiring less of a weekly time commitment from students. We still work strategically in these classes, but with a greater focus on creativity, inspiration and photography styles.
All of my courses work independently, and none of the content overlaps.
Who is this course for? I wrote this course with my usual readers and clients in mind – bloggers, creatives, makers and small businesses. It’s suitable for anyone who enjoys using Instagram, wants to improve their creative photography and connect with new audiences.
How long does the course last? There are 4 modules – meaning if you tackle one module per week, this will be a 4-week course. You’re welcome to work through at whatever pace best suits you – one module a fortnight or even per month will work just as well, so go at your own pace.
Each module requires you to go away and think and take action, so to see real results, it’s best not to try and rush it all in one go.
When can I take this course? When does it start & finish? The course will begin on Thursday 7th December 2017. Anyone who signs up before that date will get access to Module 1 on Thursday 7th December, and then another module each Thursday for three further weeks. That means Christmas will fall during one of the weeks of the course, but don’t worry! You can spread the content out to fit your own schedule, and work through at your own pace alongside your classmates.
Anyone signing up after 7th December 2-17 will receive Module 1 upon sign up, and all further modules on a weekly basis.
Gloom & Glow is designed with autumn and wintertime in mind, and many of the tasks and challenges require you to be in a climate that has reflects this during the course. If you’re in the opposite season, you might prefer my summertime course, Bloom & Grow.
How much time will I need to spend on it? How long you spend on each module’s tasks is entirely up to you. To see real results, expect to spend around 30-60 minutes digesting each module and completing the written prompts, and then an hour or two at a minimum exploring the photographic themes throughout that week.
Why have I been charged VAT? Under EU law I have to charge VAT on digital products to everyone living within Europe. It’s frustrating, as I know many taking this course are not VAT-registered businesses and cannot claim this back. To compensate, I have deliberately kept the price low, to avoid passing unnecessary expense on to you.
Will I have to take gloomy photos?
Most definitely not! This course is about taking a fresh approach to winter, examining the conventions and creating something all-new and all-you. While admittedly my own style is not all that colourful, that doesn’t mean yours wont be! The aim is to find ways to celebrate the parts of winter that resonate most with you.
What equipment do I need? Whatever you like to take photographs with – a smartphone or a camera – and a smartphone to edit and post to Instagram from. There are occasional suggestions or recommendations for props, e.g. candles or fairy lights, but these are not essential, and are kept as low cost as possible.
Where there are PDF worksheets to fill in, these can be completed via a PDF editor or printed out.
How long do I have to work through the course? You get a full year’s access to all the materials, via the log in assigned to you at launch, so you can stop and start as needed. You’re also allowed to save copies of any of the recourses for your own personal use in future.
My question isn’t answered here. Can I contact you? Absolutely. Drop my team a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to help!
Hi! I’m Sara, and I’m not one of those corporate social media types.
I’m a photographer and creative with an (overly-) analytical mind and a love for communication. I’m passionate about the internet as a gateway to human connection: that’s how I grew my Instagram following to 180k, built a blog readership of over 40k a month and was able to quit my job to follow my dreams full time. I’ve been featured in Stylist magazine, The Guardian, Buzzfeed and more, as well as talking about Instagram at events and conferences worldwide, and on BBC Radio.
I’ve been teaching Instagram and online magic for four years, and have helped more than 1k clients grow followings in the thousands, launch successful online businesses and make their creative dreams come true. You can read more of my testimonials here.
Whenever you work with me you will learn not only the how but also the why. We’ll focus as much on the creative process and producing beautiful, emotive, expressive content as any snazzy tips and tricks. Because it takes both of these things – it takes your heart and your mind. That’s when the magic really starts to unfold.